QWin 2017: In/Out/What's Left - It is worthless to use....

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I just tried the In/Out/What's Left on the home page.  It is a worthless planning tool.  It should work in the following manner.  You should be able to select the accounts that it will use to track the "cash" that you want to be considered.  Second it should start with the amounts that you put in the annual view of the planning tool for projected income AND expenses.  As the month progresses it should track the income and expenses as they are recorded and track them against the amounts in the annual view of the budget for the month.  It could tell you if your are over or under your budget. 

Right now it is telling me I am going to have all of this "extra money" at the end of the month BUT in reality I will not.  It is only considering income and expenses that have actually occurred and is not taking in the fact that maybe the budget is showing more income and expenses for the rest of the month.

If it did this it would be a GREAT tool.  Adding a summary section that gives the YTD income and expenses VS what you have budgeted for the rest of the year, what is left for the year, how much you are over or under the budget as far as income and expenses, and what you cash balance would be at that time would be a great addition.

As it is now the tool is worthless unless you set up a Billing for EACH AND EVERY expenditure you want to plan for ahead of time which is pointless because if your budget is properly conceived and planned out all the needed information for this is right there!  Why set up a Billing for a planned ONE TIME expenditures or incomes when it is already in the budget?

I am using Quicken 2017 R4, on Windows 10 Pro desktop and an Alienware 17 R2 Laptop running Windows 10 Pro.
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Snowman

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Posted 3 months ago

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NotACPA, SuperUser

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If it's worthless to you, then click the Customize button that's immediately below the words "Home" and remove that view.  No one is making you see it, but yourself.
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Snowman

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Excuuuuuse me!  I find your comment in poor taste and just about as worthless as this In/Out/What's left tool.   There is no way for me to get this "tool" to give me any worthwhile information.  You pointed out that I could remove this tool and I already have BUT I thought that maybe I might be missing something or I could give some suggestions as to how to improve Quicken.  BTW I have been using Quicken since 2001 and it has had budgeting and cash flow reporting issues  since then.

I take it from your handle that you are not a CPA.  I have a degree in Business Administration with a minor in Accounting with close to 40 years of experience.  For several of the non-profits that I have worked for we had to undergo yearly audits (to keep accredited) and we always past with flying colors.  I have operated my own businesses for the past 30 years and I have been responsible for more money in any single year that many see in a lifetime.

I know budgeting and cash flow inside and out and I can tell you that from a practical perspective this tool does neither very well. 
(Edited)
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AJ

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"Past" versus "Passed"
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JM, SuperUser

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I look at the In/Out?Whats Left as a Real Time Cash Flow tool - not a budgeting tool. What is actually happening near term based on current , updated inflow and outflow projections? A well planned budget is very handy - but it is only an estimate, usually prepared well in advance of what actually occurs. Surprises come up and you need to make adjustments. Further, one can be on target from a budget standpoint - but be off on timing of cash flow. The In/Out tool, along with the associated bar chart, will give you a heads up on a near term cash flow problem.

The user can select which accounts to include - suggest you look under the Options tab.
The tool uses actual recorded transactions and projected transactions based on scheduled reminders - so yes, scheduled reminders must be updated when actual values are known in order to accurately project cash flow.

Bottom line, The In/Out/Whats Left tool is very useful - when used in the manner intended - and that is to monitor cash flow, not budget performance. Look at it as a useful adjunct to monitoring ones budget performance - is my cash flow timing projection satisfactory?

In my personal use of this feature, I closely monitor cash flow in/out of just my checking account. The associated 30 day chart is my Home page on start-up; i.e., my first glance at QWin is how am I doing on cash flow?
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Snowman

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No it is not a real Cash Flow Tool and what I am talking about it not a budgeting tool.  I am talking about how to make it a real CASH FLOW TOOL.  No this In/Out tool does not give me a heads up on near term cash flow because it DOES NOT take into account income and expenses for lets say the rest of the month BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'T happened yet. 

The use I describe IS NOT to monitor budget performance but to SHOW CASH FLOW and the moment the tool is looked at taking into account amounts already entered into the budget.  For example when set for spending the figure given for the end of March cash will be way too high because it does not take into account a large one time expenditure that will take place on the 23rd and IT IS IN THE BUDGET.  Why not make it optional to be able to use it in this way.  

For one checking account maybe it works better but when you have multiple accounts and a more complex setup it does not work at all.  FYI  you had better beware about the 30 day chart, I use it as well and it can and will give FALSE information because it will glitch and give bad data.  Removing it from the Home page and then putting it back fixes it BUT for the average user that could get them into trouble REAL FAST.
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QPW

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The one thing I don't like about it is how it selects the accounts.
I'm sure someone thought it was nice to make it "simple" by tying it to the accounts that you flagged as "Spending" and "Savings" (the account "Intent"), but that makes it too restrictive.

For instance people have mentioned that if they are using an investment account as their "income", it won't work for them.  And then when you look at the account bar it affect where it is there, which might be different than what you want in the "widget" on the Home tab.  Not to mention there isn't a "don't include this account".

There should be a way to just select the accounts you want.
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Snowman

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QPW,  you hit the nail on the head. 
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markus1957, SuperUser

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Snowman, you should take a breath and read JM's answer again. If you schedule transactions, the In/Out will show cash flow. You keep referencing budget items but In/Out does not look at the budget at all. In/Out takes transactions from the spending registers and transactions scheduled using spending accounts; that's cash flow by most definitions. QPW mentions the instance where investment accounts are used to pay bills; in those cases you should use the linked checking account feature to bring investment account cash transactions into In/Out.
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Snowman

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And THAT IS MY POINT, it should take into account what is in the budget BECAUSE THAT WILL EFFECT CASH FLOW!  I have tried everything JM suggested and this tool does not work because the data is WRONG.  It does give an erroneous figure for what my "cash" will be at the end of March because I have a ONE TIME LARGE expenditure near the end of March THAT THIS TOOL DOES NOT take into account but I DID when I took the time and effort to put that transaction in my budget.  I have many (100 or more) of these ONE TIME transactions scattered throughout the year with both income and expenses.  The number of these transactions varies from year to year but 100 would be a pretty good average for me.

Why should I have the schedule EACH AND EVERY transaction AGAIN when I have already accounted for these transactions IN MY BUDGET.  You create a BUDGET to predict you CASH FLOW for a period of time into the future.  The further out you go the less accurate they will become.  That is a given.  You do not SCHEDULE TRANSACTIONS to predict cash flow.  You schedule transactions to pick a point at which the transaction will take place and what account(s) will be involved, nothing more than that.

Businesses do not base their Cash Flow on "Scheduled Transactions" they base their cash flow on budgets.  They take their current cash balance and then plug the budget in to see where they will be at any given point in the future.  They then update the budgets as needed to reflect real world events.  How this insane idea that cash flow should be based solely on Scheduled Transactions is new age nonsense and wrong. 

I have worked in many businesses and have run my own business for 30+ years and we NEVER figure where we will be cash flow wise by what SCHEDULED TRANSACTIONS we have.  We have BUDGET BASED tools that give us this information as to what our CASH FLOW will be.
(Edited)
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mistertheplague

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@Snowman, your preferred MO is the way MS Money's cash flow forecaster works, minus the ability to show within the forecaster whether you're over/under budget. Quicken's cash flow tools are much more limited, which is why I usually ignore them. 
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Moneyman

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Microsoft Money was a far superior program.  I'd like to see Quicken have a usable cash flow tool.
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Snowman

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Yes I ignore them for the most part as well.  I use an Excel spreadsheet to get what I want.  I am just trying to get Quicken to make the software better.  Back in 1984 there was a program called Managing Your Money by Andrew Tobias.  It could do what I have suggested and more.   Mr. Tobias helped a company called MECA put together a very good financial tool.  Sadly MYM did not survive the coming of Windows.  I used Money concurrently with Quicken for a year and while the cash forecasting was somewhat better I had a feeling that MS would bail on the program, which they did a couple of years later.  You updated MYM every year and that update included updates to the current changes in the  tax laws etc. and gave the important dates for the coming tax year, something that Quicken was woefully lacking . 

One question, is the new Quicken (the company not the program) based in the US or India?
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mistertheplague

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and while the cash forecasting was somewhat better 
Due in large part to its configurability, MS Money's cash flow forecasting is in a league of its own. It's one of the reasons I use Money in addition to Quicken and keep my Money file current. Due to its lack of configurability, Quicken can't really be said to forecast cash flow in my opinion. Quicken's cash flow reporting is second to none, but that's not really what you're looking for. 
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mistertheplague

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And Quicken Inc. is headquartered in California, with satellite offices in Tucson and Bangalore, India.
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Moneyman

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So I deposit my paycheck into three different accounts.  Main / Savings / Second Checking.  The In/Out/What's left tool uses the GROSS PAY amount for EXPECTED INCOME before taxes when I attempt to use all three deposit accounts in the PAYCHECK setup.  If I use just MAIN checking and SAVINGS it will use the NET amount from the paycheck setup.  

It would be nice to have an accurate CASH FLOW tool.

I have a page that I set up in my Quicken that has the In/Out/What's left  and the Projected Balances graph and the Bill and Income reminders.  I can't get all three to match each other. 

I had to enter a BILL REMINDER for CASH to try and more accurately forecast my CASH FLOW.

Why does the program use the GROSS PAY and not the NET PAY when I use two checking accounts.

If it put the TAXES in the OUT column that would be ok but it doesn't. 

Is this a BUG in the program or am I doing something wrong?

                                                                  
(Edited)
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mistertheplague

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I suggest you post your question as a separate thread in the main forum where all SUs are likely to see it.
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mshiggins, SuperUser

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Fred, have you seen what they are planning to do with the proposed new subscription model? Would this cash flow feature improvement be enough to get you to go along with the subscription plan's poison pill?
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Snowman

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No, I have not seen the proposed subscription model.  How can I find out about it.  It would have to be spot on and use the amounts from the budget otherwise as far as I am concerned it would be DOA.  Basically any accounting software is a "subscription" model because each year it should be updated to take into account any changes in tax laws and so forth but I do not really see this being done in Quicken.  I "subscribe" to a one year commitment when I buy the new version every year.  On the other hand if Quicken is going to REALLY FIX all of the things that are wrong with Quicken I might strongly consider it.
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markus1957, SuperUser

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Snowman- if in In/Out/What's Left, Quicken started using budget table estimates rather than actual and scheduled account register transactions then it would be useless/redundant because that feature is already incorporated in the Budget Module. If you only want to see your actual spend compared to your budget projections, delete the In/Out view on the Home page and replace it with a Budget view to your liking. 

IMO, In/Out works as designed for users who are tracking cash availability in their primary spending accounts(s).
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mshiggins, SuperUser

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Fred, here's the link to the subscription discussion:

https://getsatisfaction.com/quickenco...
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Snowman

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Thanks!
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Snowman

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@markus1957,  Not meaning to be too flippant about this but do you mean the budget view on the Home page that CAN NOT be trusted to give accurate information because it is prone to glitching??  In addition that tool does not provide a starting or an ending cash
balance.  Below is an example of the glitching.  A sample file test budget that I have for March 2017 shows spending so far in March has been $17,329 from a budget of $107,696.  There is $90,376 left to from the budget to spend and yet it says that I will have $94,936 left?  On what reality do those figures make ANY SENSE. 

Both this budget widget for the Home screen and the In/Out/What's left are useless.  They give BAD INFO.  You remember GIGO?  This is a prime example!
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markus1957, SuperUser

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I do remember GIGO. It typically refers to humans inputting inaccurate/incomplete data into complex systems with the result being inaccurate output and the lesson being to not expect a different outcome.

Generally, what you have demonstrated is that Quicken does not function like Money and that you have/will not adapt to provide Quicken a complete data set to achieve your desired outcome. If you treat Quicken like Money, it will not provide results that look like those Money would produce. I use the Projected Balance feature to look out 2 years on a cash flow basis using scheduled transactions; it works. Just like with budgeting, you have a choice of what level of detail to incorporate into the input side, e.g.; scheduled transactions, to produce a projected cash balance with a reasonable probability of being accurate. The graphics you have provided thus far show you are not there yet, but you do appear proficient enough to get there if you adapt to what works.

One other plug for scheduled transactions is that they also flow to the Tax Planner which I have found to be very useful for planning ahead to minimize my tax liability.
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Snowman

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I have provided Quicken several sanitized data sets, the most recent one last week.


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markus1957, SuperUser

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Let me make a suggestion relative to providing data sets to the developers when trouble shooting a calculation issue in Quicken. Create a new test file with a small and simple data set that clearly illustrates the calculation error you are trying to get resolved. Once you get their attention and they have time to work on it, if you show them clearly where the error exists, they will resolve it. In this case though, I do not view this as a calculation error, but a change in the way the program works. Not one that interest me and after 5 days, not many other users either based on the vote tally for the post.
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Snowman

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Ahh, but see there lies the issue.  A simple data set will not show the problem.  It is only when the data set becomes more involved and at what point that is who knows.  Who should have an idea are the people who programmed the blasted thing in the first place but they are lost in a morass of spaghetti code are afraid to touch it.  I would be too it I were them.  Besides it is not my job to ferret this out, it is for them to do it.  I have helped in the only way that I can by provided them the data sets.

It has been suggested that I add all of transactions as  "scheduled transactions".  Why should I be forced to do that when I have put all of those transactions in the budget?  Many of those transactions are not ones that repeat on any given schedule or are "one off" transactions that again are in the budget.  Do I have to put them in the budget AND then repeat the process and put then as scheduled transactions?  That is a tremendous waste of energy and time. 

The point of being able to "schedule" transactions is so that they get paid on time NOT to obfuscate the budget/cash flow process.  

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Snowman

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Ahh, but see there lies the issue.  A simple data set will not show the problem.  It is only when the data set becomes more involved and at what point that is who knows.  Who should have an idea are the people who programmed the blasted thing in the first place but they are lost in a morass of spaghetti code are afraid to touch it.  I would be too it I were them.  Besides it is not my job to ferret this out, it is for them to do it.  I have helped in the only way that I can by provided them the data sets.

It has been suggested that I add all of transactions as  "scheduled transactions".  Why should I be forced to do that when I have put all of those transactions in the budget?  Many of those transactions are not ones that repeat on any given schedule or are "one off" transactions that again are in the budget.  Do I have to put them in the budget AND then repeat the process and put then as scheduled transactions?  That is a tremendous waste of energy and time. 

The point of being able to "schedule" transactions is so that they get paid on time NOT to obfuscate the budget/cash flow process.  

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Snowman

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Sorry having an issue with the website it put my message in twice.
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markus1957, SuperUser

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Sorry but we'll just have to agree to disagree. I'm fine with using scheduled transactions as cash flow basis. After 1 week, no other user has added to your vote total on the issue; so it won't get very far. My vote is to leave it as it is.
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Snowman

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This is an example of a true cash forecasting report but I do not think you will take the time to really appreciate what it there.  This would be an AWESOME tool for Quicken to incorporate into the program.  Nobody is voting because they do not understand what a great tool it would be.  But it is just easier to say, no it's too hard to do etc. etc. 



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QPW

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I'm going to state a few opinions here.
  1. Why, as a customer, should I work to find a way to make a problem easily reproducible?  After all that is "their" job.  My answers.  1.  If they can't reproduce the problem, they may never fix the problem. 2. If it takes longer than a certain amount of time to reproduce the problem, they will stop trying and go on to another problem. 3. There are a lot things the customers want done and each hour that they spend on any given problem is hours that will not be spent on something else on the list. 4. Customers seem to think that time is infinite, or that the number developers that a company "should" hire is equal whatever the customers want done.  That isn't the case.
  2. You ask why should I enter a scheduled reminder, when I already have it in the budget?  How about because unless they change it, that is currently your only choice.  You must have a lot more confidence in Quicken doing this, than everyone else.
  3. The point of being able to "schedule" transactions is so that they get paid on time NOT to obfuscate the budget/cash flow process.  Well it might be clear that way, but I can say that about a lot of things in life, and in Quicken.  People are using Savings Goals as sub accounts for instance.  Not ideal, but it works.  The choices aren't "why should I", they are "I can use the workaround, or not do it.".  At least for now.
  4. Even though I have seen a way that this feature could be put in without the major disruptions that a similar request caused, that isn't to say that this isn't a lot of work.  In fact the title of this Idea is not even close to being right.  You are in fact asking for MS Money's "Forecaster" feature.  And the In/Out/What's Left is about as close to that as saying that the annual budget screen is the same as the calendar because they both have numbers in columns and rows.  BTW the old request was "Why should I have to enter the same numbers in the Spending Planner (basically the current Graph View of the budget) and the budget?"  The result, they were merged, and that is the start of the new budget system.
BTW just because I see a way that this might be put in without major disruptions doesn't mean that the Quicken developers will see it that way.

The Quicken developers have done several things that I would never do, so don't take my understanding on how I might have approached this problem, as the method they would use.
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markus1957, SuperUser

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Awesome is knowing my checking account balance stays in positive territory and anticipating the check from VW for returning my NOX spewing TDI. You're out of my league from a cash flow perspective but my cash flow graphic is easier on the eyes and supported by real projected expenditures.
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gmalis1, SuperUser

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I think some of us are missing the point here.  As I've stated many times in previous posts, Quicken is personal financial software for the masses.  

Whereas I see Snowman's need (or want or desire) to forecast future cash flow, even up to 5 years out, I don't see the demand for that from other users the way Snowman sees it.  Nor do I think that even the superusers out there have envisioned what Snowman would like to see...or how the In/Out/What's Left and the Cash Flow screens interact with the budget.

I see all three of those as tools that Quicken provides...each with a different method of providing slightly different information regarding financial management.  For the longest time, when I was working, I didn't really access ANY of them.  I would just watch my month to date and year to date transaction reports to see how I was doing.

Now that I'm retired with no real steady source of income, I can rely more on the Cash Flow AND In/Out/What's Left to make sure I am within the parameters of my monthly withdrawal from savings and investments.

But what I'm getting at, with Snowman's clipped report he provided, maybe YOU are just better off exporting the data you need and use an Excel spreadsheet to manipulate the numbers the way you want to see it.

Because how I look at it, Snowman's NEVER going to get what he needs with the Cash Flow and budget...and Quicken's never going to provide that way.  So the solution is to manipulate Quicken somehow (as has been suggested with scheduled bill reminders), export your data to Excel and manipulate the data there...or just move on to another software that meets your needs better.

You can jump up and down all you want Snowman...you're not going to get Quicken to do things the way you were used to in Money.  
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gmalis1, SuperUser

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I think some of us are missing the point here.  As I've stated many times in previous posts, Quicken is personal financial software for the masses.  

Whereas I see Snowman's need (or want or desire) to forecast future cash flow, even up to 5 years out, I don't see the demand for that from other users the way Snowman sees it.  Nor do I think that even the superusers out there have envisioned what Snowman would like to see...or how the In/Out/What's Left and the Cash Flow screens interact with the budget.

I see all three of those as tools that Quicken provides...each with a different method of providing slightly different information regarding financial management.  For the longest time, when I was working, I didn't really access ANY of them.  I would just watch my month to date and year to date transaction reports to see how I was doing.

Now that I'm retired with no real steady source of income, I can rely more on the Cash Flow AND In/Out/What's Left to make sure I am within the parameters of my monthly withdrawal from savings and investments.

But what I'm getting at, with Snowman's clipped report he provided, maybe YOU are just better off exporting the data you need and use an Excel spreadsheet to manipulate the numbers the way you want to see it.

Because how I look at it, Snowman's NEVER going to get what he needs with the Cash Flow and budget...and Quicken's never going to provide that way.  So the solution is to manipulate Quicken somehow (as has been suggested with scheduled bill reminders), export your data to Excel and manipulate the data there...or just move on to another software that meets your needs better.

You can jump up and down all you want Snowman...you're not going to get Quicken to do things the way you were used to in Money.  
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Snowman

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@markus1957.  What I presented was from DOS program 18 years ago, of course it could be made easier on the eyes.  Once again IT IS NOT FROM MS MONEY!!!!  It was from 1999 years before MS Money every came out.  I HATED MONEY!!  How is what I presented "not supported by real projected expenditures"??  Again nobody should have to enter 100's of transactions a month as "scheduled" when in the budget I can put in ONE  very real world budget number to cover it. 

Sorry about the VW fiasco. 

@QPW.  Again NOT ASKING FOR MS MONEY forecasting feature.  It did not work for me because it said "I had too many transactions it the budget...". 

I guess I will keep with Excel. 

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QPW

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@Snowman, I guess then you are now even in minority.

I asked how Quicken would get your numbers for the "one offs" and mistertheplague gave examples of how MS Money did it in the forecaster.  Now that I see your posted report I see that it is completely different that what mistertheplague said.

Granted looking at the report you posted it seems like a lot easier to do that then the MS Forecaster.

The key thing to understand here is if knowing which accounts the money is coming from is important or not.

Quicken's budget numbers are not connected to accounts for the most part.
As such they can't be used for a question like "Will I have enough money on Dec 11, 2017 in my checking account to pay the bills?".  They can be used for a question like "Will I have enough money in the month of Dec 2017 in ANY account to pay my bills?"

My suggestion for using scheduled reminders was based on the requirement to know what account the spending was connected to.  If in fact the idea is to just adjust the budget numbers for "one offs" that is quite different.

In fact most of that already exists in the current budget system.
What I see that is missing has to do with bring the current balances of all the accounts into the picture.   But mind you even in that one would have to be careful that the budgeted categories don't include categories that are used in accounts that aren't included in this report.

I think filtering the budget by account, and being able to select what accounts to use in this report would pretty much be a requirement.  And in fact to make them consistent most likely there probably would have to be some kind of forced requirement that they are the same.
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Snowman

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"@Snowman, I guess then you are now even in minority" ?!???
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QPW

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As in there seems to be a group on here that are "leave it alone".
And other "make it like MS Money".
And yours "change it how I have said, not like either of the above".
And my group "I'm just trying to understand what people are actually asking for".  :-)
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Snowman

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Got it.   I am working on something that I hope will make it clearer.  Many of the "parts" are already in Quicken.  I think it is just a matter of putting them all together.  FTR I am not saying to change it per say but that it could be made to be better.  It is hard when you have some many people with so many experiences with so many different backgrounds that something that what may seem crystal clear to me may be as clear as mud to others.  It doesn't make it bad it just needs a better explanation or two or three to get there. 

When I get "If it's worthless to you, then click the Customize button that's immediately below the words "Home" and remove that view.  No one is making you see it, but yourself", I tend to take it the wrong way, as I think most people would.  Just as the author of that comment would have if I posted the very same comment on one of his ideas.

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mistertheplague

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@QPW:
I asked how Quicken would get your numbers for the "one offs" and mistertheplague gave examples of how MS Money did it in the forecaster.  Now that I see your posted report I see that it is completely different that what mistertheplague said.
That's my fault. What I reported was based on how I (and I suspect many/most users) would forecast one-offs using Money's cash flow tools. Like those many/most users I'm inventing, I often want to model the effects of significant variations on an otherwise relatively stable trend. In Snowman's case, at least as reflected in his DOS report, significant variations are the trend, and he's accounting for those variations by budgeting them.

Fine. No problem. In Money, he could enter them as One-Time Item transactions in his Budget Summary window. They'd be added to his advanced budget in the month/year he selected and reflected in his cash flow forecaster accordingly. He could also hide the transactions in his forecaster to see what the effect would be with no effect on his budget.

@Snowman, given how many times you've stated in underlined, bolded, and italicized all caps font that you don't like MS Money, don't use MS Money, etc. you have my condolences as the only actual Money user in this thread. :-)
(Edited)
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gmalis1, SuperUser

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Snowman...

Maybe I'm missing something...but I find the In/Out/What's Left to be extremely useful.  I have it set to MONTHLY (NOT the past 30 days) and it gives me a nice overview of what's been paid and what's been scheduled.  And as I'm retired, I know exactly if I am within my monthly retirement withdrawal.

Now, if you're talking Cash Flow, I added that view as well to my Home Page of In/Out/What's Left.  That gives me the actual cash flow of my money...so basically it does NOT take into consideration any charges to my credit card account I've made up to the closing date.  It just takes into consideration the actual credit card payment for the current month...just the way it's supposed to.

But what I don't understand is why you are trying to manipulate the In/Out/What's Left chart and make it a Budget chart.  That's what the Budget tool is for.  I'm pretty sure those two charts are different for a reason.

In/Out/What's Left ISN'T a budgeting tool.  It is an informational tool on what you've spent using your bank and credit card accounts.  It isn't used to determine whether you are over or under you budget for a particular category.  Once again, that's what the budget tool is for and budget reports.  

And to say YOU don't like In/Out/What's Left and  it's useless and how YOU want it to be doesn't work for me at all.  Therefore, you can't speak for every Quicken user...and I like it EXACTLY the way it is.

And I also think your disparaging attitude to the other superusers who were just trying to help you is absolutely reprehensible.  
(Edited)
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QPW

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This discussion isn't new.  And it is not surprising that it was brought by a former MS Money users, and basically the people for it are also MS Money users.

There have been certain key things that Quicken and MS Money have always done differently, and this is one of them.  (How the running balance should work was another).

Pretty much everything you have asked for is already in the budget system.  The main difference being that in Quicken predictions are made with reminders, and the MS crowd wants the budget numbers to be used for predicting future expenses.  Also the budget system is category based, not account based, which is the more likely case for a cash flow system.

In fact a lot of that went into the rewrite of the budget had to do with trying to please these different groups.  The result is a complicated budget system (one with more than its share of bugs).
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Snowman

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Don't count me as one of the MS Money users.  I tried it concurrently with Quicken for 1 year and found many of the same faults in it that Quicken had.

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mistertheplague

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the MS crowd wants the budget numbers to be used for predicting future expenses. 
Well, budget numbers and scheduled transactions. Either/or isn't as useful for cash flow forecasting, in my opinion.

I've hesitated to post the following in part because this is a Quicken forum, not a Money forum. However, it seems as though folks are talking past one another on this issue, so at the risk of being lumped in with the MS crowd, here's a representative use case in which Money's approach to cash flow forecasting is invaluable, at least to me.

The use case also illustrates, I think, the differences between how Money and Quicken handle near to long-term cash flow forecasting. (And yes, for the record, I'd love it if Quicken would allow Projected Balances to be Money-like).

Anyway, here's the real-life scenario:

We're currently house-hunting. My wife has champagne taste (except in husbands), so I want to know what effect a one-time cash-to-close expenditure and a certain monthly PITI payment will have on our cash flow by the end of 2022.

The date range is significant because I've also implemented an aggressive debt reduction plan (which I formulated in Quicken, by the way, in case Management is lurking), which pays off the loan in question by 3/2022. The question I want need an answer to is: by close of 2022, will our cash flow bend but not break? 

Using identical numbers and dates and including the two relevant accounts, checking and savings, I modeled the same scenario in Money's cash flow forecaster and Quicken's Projected Balances. The payee for the proposed one-time CTC expenditure is Title Company; the payee for the proposed mortgage payment is HomeBridge.

Here's what it looks like in Money's cash flow forecaster (the orange graph represents the combined balances): 



Here's what it looks like in Quicken's Projected Balances:



You could just look at the respective graphs and see the difference: because it incorporates our budget numbers as well as our scheduled transactions, Money projects our cash flow dipping steadily and then slowly climbing again after the debt reduction plan ends (I've actually modeled this out a lot farther, but clipped it here for simplicity). 

Quicken, on the other hand, which only incorporates scheduled transactions in its projections, correctly models the dip in savings after the CTC payment but has our checking account balance going to Pluto.

Projected ending balances on 12/31/2022: Money, $123,718.66; Quicken: $246,180.02. Although I much prefer Quicken's number, I'm obviously not going to pay it much heed. 

Finally, I should note that being able to incorporate budget items as well as scheduled transactions isn't only useful when modeling a large expense or an aggressive debt reduction plan. The above is a fairly untypical example of how I use Money's cash flow forecasting tool; more commonly, I use it for ho-hum monthly review.

It's flexibility and power come from allowing you to create a model based on your intended spending and income combined with your actual spending and income. I think this capability would be an invaluable addition to Quicken's already unparalleled cash flow reporting capabilities. 

Anyway, that's my opinion. Worth the price paid for it, as they say ... Thanks for listening. 
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QPW

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Personally I have no "direct" stake in this question.  I do use the projected balances, but I never look out at more than 30 days, and I'm only really interested in making sure I have enough money in my checking account at any given time, which it is "nice" for, but far from "necessary".  As for long term predictions I sort of look at the life time planner.  I have never used In/Out/What's left.

When I look at your projected balances plot from Quicken and see the checking account balance increase straight up it is clear to me what a long time Quicken user would tell you about that, if you want to make that kind of prediction you should have put in a scheduled reminder(s).

And on that score I think that a lot of the differences between the two could be "corrected" by just a few more options in the scheduled reminders.  Like for instance an automatic skip.  So that if a person is putting in a scheduled reminder for no other reason than to predict this kind of flow it will just skip when it gets hit.  Or maybe even better, just create a new class of reminders that are "predictions".  And allowing paycheck reminders to stop after a certain period of time like bill reminders will do.  And a more flexible setting of future reminder "overrides".  As in be able to not just change the next reminder value, but basically anyone of them in the future.

In fact looking at your MS Money "budget" numbers, they have basically nothing to do with Quicken's budget numbers.  No where in Quicken's budget do you specify an account for a "transaction".  Even in the budget reports, the accounts are only used as a filter.

The MS Money "budget" numbers much more resemble scheduled reminders.
Quicken's budget numbers are all based on categories, not accounts, and they are all for a month. Basically useless in this discussion.

It would be a big mistake to try to incorporate any of this with the Quicken budget.

Drop the term "budget" and change it to "XXXX type of reminder", and make them more flexible, and the graph a bit nicer, like including a "net calculation" plot, and then I think you would find a lot more "common ground".

BTW, I do wonder if people have thought about the Quicken developers track record for such requests?
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mshiggins, SuperUser

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I think about that track record a lot and it scares the hell out of me.
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Snowman

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;-)
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QPW

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And for the record I don't believe that a budget should be used as a cash flow system. They are different purposes, and it is the act of trying to merge the two that leads to all the complexity, for just a bit of "possible" information being entered more than once. 

In a budget I don't want to pin my spending on clothing to a given account.
I could careless which account pays for it.

In a cash flow system, I could careless about what categories it paid for, I want to know if if I have the right amount of money in each account at a given time.
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Snowman

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Sadly that is the attitude that gets people in financial trouble.  We even have a name for it "Budgeting for Bankruptcy".  Looking out only 30 days is like being on a construction site with sound proof headphones and getting run over by a truck backing up, yes the truck had a backup alarm but you could not hear it because you were wearing a sound proof headset.   Also not believing that Cash Flow and budgets are tied together is also a mistake.    I have literally 200+ transactions per month, are you saying that I should not only put these in my budget (I do, and I have a category for clothing :-) ) but also create a scheduled reminders?!?  That would be 2,400 per year and that's crazy.  It is already in my budget.  A few tweaks of the scheduled reminders is not going to fix this.

In 2007 I setup a 5 year cash flow budget,  read that again Cash Flow Budget, it is an accounting term and does not depend upon "scheduled reminders, transactions, whatever".  I put in numbers for all of my categories with all potential income, expenses and savings accounted for.  I started to see a disturbing trend that be the end of 2012 I was going to be running unsustainable deficits from 2012 on.  I did some analysis came up with a plan so that by the time 2012 came around my accounts were under control and I did not run any deficit except for last year and was because of a large tax bill, that I knew was coming and had put money in savings to account for it.  Budget wise I ran a deficit for the year but Cash Flow wise I was covered because I had put away money for the future tax payment.  Quicken should do all of this without have to manually putting the budget in Excel.  The plus was Excel showed me that my Quicken (Annual View) budget could not add properly.  It is a bug that still exists in my data file to this day and has not been fixed and believe me I have checked and double checked as has one of my sons and our CPA.  All the numbers are exactly the same in both the Annual View Budget and Excel.  The tie breaker was doing all of the calculations hand and the winner was Excel.

If what you are doing works for you GREAT!!!  BUT I have a wife, two kids, multiple homes, a boat, cars and a business.  I use QuickBooks for the businesses but I have quite a bit to track personally.  I have used Quicken since 2001 with the demise of Managing Your Money. 

Finally Cash Flow analysis and Budgets are tied together.  You can not get the full picture from just one of them, you have to consider both.  Read my reply to Markus above.  It is interesting to talk to get other views and opinions.  Yes these are my opinions but they are backed up by accounting fact and 30+ years of running my own businesses. 

I have said it before the first time 5 years ago that Quicken needs to be rewritten to 64bit  code and redesigned from the ground up with US  based accountants and knowledgeable users deeply involved in the process of setting up the design and implementation BEFORE the first line of code is written.  I say 64 bit code because at some point in the not so distant future 32 bit computers and programs are going to go the way of the dodo.  As JFK once said "...we do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard."

Sorry to much caffeine this morning :-)
(Edited)
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QPW

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Frankly I think you are living in the "customer fantasy world".

That is the world where they have no problem with throwing away years of work, or upsetting the existing users to get what they want.

In the real world you do such things at great peril.  Quicken Mac is very vivid example of what that path gives.  Maybe in the end Quicken Windows users will envy Quicken Mac, but so far that path has taken 9 years, and ask any Quicken Mac users if they think Quicken Mac is up to even Windows Deluxe level yet.
And the question about 64-bit, is useless, and something the customer shouldn't be concerned about.  You talk about it is need for 5 years into the future.  You have no basis for that conclusion, and you have no understanding of the impact to the development of Quicken you that would cause.  No matter what you think if they created a 64-bit version, they would gain literally nothing as far as making Quicken work better, and they would then have build, and test, and support two versions of Quicken.  This would in fact slow down development of any new features, including this one you are suggesting.

And making Quicken, work and look like MS Money has the same pitfalls.

If you want your feature you should be looking at doing it with the LEAST amount of disruptions of the existing system.

Quicken's budget numbers don't have anything to do with "what account", and to put that in would be extremely complicated and bug ridden.

I wonder how many Quicken users would like to go through another budget system change like the one that happened in Quicken 2012, and was so well received, they did a major overhaul of it in Quicken 2013.

And I think you didn't understand if you came back with saying that you have 200+ transactions a month.  What does that have to do with the problem?
You could literally use one scheduled reminder for all 200+ transactions.
Here is an example:


Mind you I'm also not talking about a split transaction line per transaction either.
And even though I didn't show it here transfers can be put in this way too.

This is a "prediction" reminder, there is no need for it to go into any more detail than the user wants.  In fact it might be nothing more than "income" and "expenses".

When I said this has nothing to do with the "budget numbers" I meant that you can't some how take the Quicken budget number for clothing and create the above information.  Sure I could do what I did above and just divide one month's expenses by 4 weeks to get a weekly number, but that isn't the point.  The above transaction is connected to an account.  There is nothing in the Quicken budget number that is going to connect it to an account.  In fact like I said before the actual budget number is connected to a category, it is the "actuals" that are connected to accounts and transactions.  So yes cash flow is connected to the budget, but not the budget number.  As in the budget number say $100 a month on clothing.  It is the "actuals" that pin that to an account/date.

And in Quicken besides the real transactions, the way to put in "predicted transactions" is the reminder system.

The "solution" for your request has to be framed in Quicken usage not MS Money.

BTW you are barking up the wrong tree with your throw out "a CPA would do this, and that".  Quicken users by far and large are not CPAs and frankly don't care about that practice.  It is like a mathematician telling a person that they can't use a calculator because they haven't done the proper proofs to know that they are getting the right answers.  If you start throwing that around you are just going to alienate most Quicken users.

Also on my statement of my use of the projected balances of no more than 30 days.
You took it wrong.  I should have probably just left that out, it wasn't a suggestion on how people should do this. It was connected to the fact that I don't need this system, so I have no real "stake" in it other than evaluating what people are saying MS Money does, and what people using the Quicken system for currently, and what is practical from a software development basis.
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Snowman

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No, I DO NOT want Quicken to be anything like MS Money.  I tried it concurrently with Quicken and stopped after a year. 

Predictably you toss out the old argument about what I disaster the rewrite of Quicken for the MAC was.  It was a disaster because they did not plan out the software design properly.  Abode did it quite nicely several years back with their software not necessarily because their programmers were better but they had a locked-in design to work towards, they even added new features that were bug free and worked!  Quicken has been kludged together for so long that you get issues like if you click on a pull down menu to backup you can also reset the sort order of the register underneath.  This has been an issue for a couple of years now and it is not fixed.  I am sure you have a list of things you would like to see fixed as well!

"There is nothing in the Quicken budget number that is going to connect it to an account.  In fact like I said before the actual budget number is connected to a category, it is the "actuals" that are connected to accounts and transactions.  So yes cash flow is connected to the budget, but not the budget number.  As in the budget number say $100 a month on clothing.  It is the "actuals" that pin that to an account/date."

You say cash flow is connected to the budget, but not the budget number?!?!  Cash flow is and always will be connected to a budget and that happens when there is an "actual" transaction.  For clothes if you budgeted $100 for the month and you have spent $25 to date then you have a positive cash flow of $75.  THAT IS THE CONNECTION!!!, not some predicted transaction.

"And in Quicken besides the real transactions, the way to put in "predicted transactions" is the reminder system.". 

Where do you get that from?  Is it in the Quicken help?  Being able to "schedule" transactions is a good option to have but if you have users who spend the time to put together a detailed budget they should be able to get the information that they need without have to put in "predicted transaction"  which I think I have made clear DOES NOT WORK when many of the transactions are one time occurrences and you have already budgeted for them.

Your "solution" to the 200+ item that have to be added every month is a non-starter.  As I said most of those 200+ items are one time transactions occurring in multiple accounts and would not work.  You can't create one Quicken Reminder with splits for transactions over multiple categories AND multiple accounts, it just won't do it.

Below is a screen shot showing why budget and cash flow have to work together.


This the budget widget on the home screen.  It show $20,807 in spending so far in March.  It also shows a budget for the month of $107,696 subtract those two and you get $86,889 left to spend for the month, so far so good.  The collapse of this comes in the amount on the right label "savings" for $94,936.  That number should not be labeled savings.  It should be labeled Cash On Hand March 31 or something like that.  It is money that needs to be available the next month when there is little income but there are still expenses.

Is Quicken personal financial software or not?  I would guess your answer would be yes and if so it SHOULD conform as closely as possible to the standards and practices that a CPA would use AND IF done properly the users will never know.   If done in the right manner the user does not need to know any of this.  If you answer is no, why?

"BTW you are barking up the wrong tree with your throw out "a CPA would do this, and that".  Quicken users by far and large are not CPAs and frankly don't care about that practice.  It is like a mathematician telling a person that they can't use a calculator because they haven't done the proper proofs to know that they are getting the right answers..."

Now you are just getting out of hand.  I was in school when there were still slide rules.  When calculators first came out we could not use them UNTIL we could show that we understood the math.  Otherwise you would not know if the calculator was giving you the correct information or not.  Now everybody uses a calculator and if the power goes out, their cash registers can't function they are out of luck because they have NO IDEA how to add, subtract, or even make change without the register telling what to do.

I believe I said if what you do works for you GREAT!  I live in reality not some "customer fantasy world".  I am trying to get Quicken to address the issues that most Quicken users do not know (and should not have to know) about how some of the tools in Quicken can lead them into trouble.  Hey it could be optional but those of us who PLAN for the future (2-5 years and beyond) would really like to have the tools in Quicken to do this and in the process Quicken could become the Photoshop of financial programs. 
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QPW

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Maybe I should top using analogies that you clearly don't get.
The point on the calculator was simply that Quicken users do not care about CPA practices.  Sure if they happen to line up with what they want fine, but I have watched CPAs come in here and say "You need to change Quicken in this way, because I'm a CPA and I know the right way to do this."  And the basic response from the Quicken users is "jump in lake, we don't care".

On the rewrite of Mac and the rewrite of Photoshop.  Frankly I don't care why one was long and drawn out, and the other went smoothly.  I do know a lot about the things that can affect that outcome, like management, planning, talent, complexity of the job, ...  I have been doing this for over 35 years.  But I base my statement on something much more concrete.

If I look at three things in the current Quicken development.  One, the rate at which features are added.  And two, the likelihood of bugs being introduced.  And third the likelihood of Quicken Inc to understand the actual requirement of the user, and deliver that.

What I see is a record of not completely understanding the requirements up front, and therefore needing multiple iterations to get it right (if they ever do).  And I can expect a fairly large amount of bugs to be introduced.  And I can expect a rate of no more one "big" feature per quarter.

Quicken has lots of "big features".

So to change my mind on what will happen you would have to convince me that Quicken Inc somehow morphed into whatever worked over in the Photoshop development.

I have seen nothing of the sort.  For instance Quicken 2017's big features are the new GUI and the Zillow estimate.  I don't even care if you like the GUI or not, just look at the fact that it doesn't even properly take into account where the task bar is when sizing and positioning the main window in maximize mode.  This is really telling to a long time programmer, because in fact programs almost always leave the sizing and positioning of the main window in maximized mode to Windows.  So they choose to take on a role that they shouldn't have and didn't do it right.

When I look at the Zillow estimate feature.  This is in fact a very simple feature.  A GUI interface to some API to pass an address and return an amount.  To this day it has refresh problems, and all through the development it was easy to get Quicken to crash while using it.

You want them to either totally rewrite Quicken or go in and restructure the budget system. A system that is already extremely complex, and has many bugs in it.

Sorry I don't have the same faith as you do in them carrying it off, let alone doing it in a time span that is less than many years (for the rewrite).

On the "budget system/numbers".  Of course there is interaction between the cash flow and the budget.  There is interaction between the transactions in the register and the reports, views, budget, ...

But the key here what kind of interaction.  Is it tight coupled; you have to make major changes to the budget system itself.  Of loosely coupled; you have to make minor changes to the scheduled reminder system, and the budget system just gets different "actuals".

I might be completely wrong about that the scheduled reminder system can be altered slightly and as such allow Quicken to perform the function you want (but maybe not exactly how you envisioned). And if that is true than frankly I give it even less of a chance to be done, at least done in a way that makes all parties happy.

But if I'm right, and can work that is basically a pretty minor change to a system that has no major changes to the budget system as it exists today.

If the feature requires changes to the budget system to include accounts in the way you describe, I can tell you that isn't a minor change.
(Edited)
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QPW

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Anyway it quite clear that at this point, I'm not adding anything to the discussion, so I'm going to stop following this thread.

I wish you luck in getting what you want.
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gmalis1, SuperUser

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And as most of us superusers who have been using Quicken for over 20-25 years, getting Quicken to fix ANYTHING is a major task.

Not only does Quicken keep things close to the vest, they rarely if ever concede there is a problem, there is no timetable for a fix and users are just left in the dark...like we don't even matter. 

I'm going to get pulled out on this...and maybe even censored for it...but a major part of the problem is that US personal financial software is being designed and coded by outsourced programmers, if you catch what I mean.  And the support is outsourced to there as well.  They really have zero clue what American users want and need in their product. 

We have all just about had it with the lingering bugs and problems.  I think we would all just like a halt to the added "features" that rarely work and would just like to see things get fixed.  I would have been completely content with almost any older version of Quicken, such as Quicken 2010 if downloads had continued for an annual fee.

I can safely say that if Microsoft had as many issues with Word or Excel as Quicken has, no one would be using Word or Excel.  The issues with Quicken are completely unacceptable.  I don't even know how Quicken got to this state.  Buggy software that seemingly is not only accepted by users but is the leader in it's software niche. 

I don't know what the upcoming annual subscription model will have in store...everyone eventually getting on the same version of Quicken and a focus on product quality.  But either way (subscription pricing, lockout of data entry for non-renewals and continued buggy software, newly introduced and lingering ones) Quicken is on a slippery slope downhill.

If the subscription model works, they will get a great influx of money to pay ALL the investment capital investors.  If it fails and users head for the hills, Quicken calls it quits.

If Quicken doesn't get the quality and usability issues corrected, the same scenario exists.  Quicken users will abandon the product and Quicken will be out of business.

At this point, I have very little faith that the Quicken development team has a plan on fixing the lingering issues.  I, for one, am prepared to leave Quicken.

And finally, if Quicken is this much of a mess, can you only imagine what a complete rewrite of the software would be like?
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Snowman

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You are absolutely right when you say that the programmers have been outsourced to I would suspect India.  Nothing wrong with that BUT those programmers need to know what the financial customs and laws are for the country that they are writing the programs for.  One item I can think of right off hand is in Reports where the total for Income and Expenses appears at the top of the section not at the BOTTOM which is the custom in this country. 

"And as most of us superusers who have been using Quicken for over 20-25 years, getting Quicken to fix ANYTHING is a major task."

I agree and it should not be that way!!!  The superusers and others need to band together and say enough is enough!!

I can only hope for the best and keep plugging at it.  I was contacted by email by the Quicken office in India.  They asked if I could give them more detail about the issues that I was having with printing and saving reports because they did not see what I was seeing, it worked for them every time.  This main issue with reports is that if you change the "format" of the report (ie compress all of the sub-categories so that only the parent categories are on the report and you save the report all of the changes you made are gone.  When you reopen the report all the subcategories are uncompressed.  That is like opening a Word document and change a bunch of fonts, saving it and when you reopen the document all of those font changes are gone.  I also mention in the video the issue with having the totals at the top of sections.

I had some hope that things were going to get fixed, but I fear that this program is indeed on its way out.  If they go ahead with their subscription idea that will be the final death blow.
(Edited)
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QPW

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OK I couldn't resist looking. :-)

I just want to say I agree on the "outsourcing", and BTW my experience with my old company, one of the major problems we had is as soon as a developer got some experience, they would quit for a higher paying job, they are in big demand.  In the US average experience 6 years, in India, 2.  But also just think about how hard must be when you can really only use Quicken in manual mode or in some "test mode", because the financial institutions you work on a personal level aren't even supported.

But it is my understanding that even though even that is the case for the Windows version, it isn't the case for the Mac version (outsourcing).  So clearly that isn't the "only problem", at least not when considering how long things take to get done.
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QPW

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Actually I got that experience wrong.  In the US is was that on average that the developers had been with the company 6 years.  Their actual experience usually exceeded 10 years.  In India their actual experience was 2 years.
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Snowman

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@QPW

"What I see is a record of not completely understanding the requirements up front, and therefore needing multiple iterations to get it right (if they ever do).  And I can expect a fairly large amount of bugs to be introduced."

Absolutely Totally AGREE!  That was my point with the whole Photoshop comparison.  Without a precise roadmap showing where you are, where you want end up and a good plan of how to get there you may never get there at all.  That is what I feel has happened with Quicken.

The other is that there is no longer a simple fix in this program for anything.  Most of what we see as "simple" fixes are no longer simple because so many layers have been added one on top of the other that to mess with something at the bottom could threaten the collapse of the whole program kind of like in the game Jenga.

I disagree that you have nothing to add to the discussion, you have made me think just as I hope I have made you think.  This is what having an open honest debate is all about.  It is an ability that has been lost in the country.  A debate is not how to cut down, disgrace or bury an opponent but to have an open exchange of ideas.

Full disclosure, if I have given you the impression that I am a CPA I am not but I have run several businesses and out of college my first job was setting up the accounting system, first on paper and then on an early computer running CPM of all things.  I learned Fortran in college using IBM punch cards.  That taught you how to right a tight easy to follow program.  I bought an IBM-XT when they first can out and with purchased Managing Your Money and used that for the next 16 years. 

I think that if everyone in this community were to let Quicken and their investors know (as Popeye used to say) "We have had all we can stands and we can't stands no more", maybe they would listen more carefully.

My only goal is to make Quicken a better program, without all the bugs.  A program that offers good financial reports, cash flow reports, budget reports and so forth and get the new tax laws incorporated into the program and let THAT BE THE VALUE of buying the program every year.  I would be lost without Quicken (there is nothing better out there) but there are times it makes me want to SCREAM!!!!!! 
(Edited)
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gmalis1, SuperUser

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Similar backgrounds, I would think...although I was never a programmer.  But I did learn FORTRAN, run the big reel to reel and IBM punchcards on an IBM mainframe, had a CPM machine, then one of the first IBM XT's with two floppy drives (5 1/4") and 256K (yes K, not MB) of memory and a monochrome monitor.  All that for $3500.  And MS-DOS to boot.

I also started using Managing Your Money way back when.  

What I really expect to happen with Quicken is:

1 People who manually enter their transactions could care less about upgrading to a new Quicken version, so what's the point?  They won't be affected when the new subscription model takes affect next year.  They will continue manually entering transactions and such with no consequence.

2 Users will continue using their current "three year subscription" Quicken until downloads are terminated.  They may subscribe to the new model.  Those that do will be pissed as all heck when it's the same lousy bug ridden product they've had before, only now it's at least four times more expensive than it was before because you'll have to re-subscribe yearly instead of every three years.  And there will apparently be no "discount" to current and continued users.  So buying at a discount from Amazon is out.  And new users and current users will pay the same for the subscription.  That's how it's working in Canada.

That's how stupid the Quicken management team is.  Instead of offering current Quicken users a very steep discount to continue using Quicken, and a very steep discount to re-subscribe...no, the capital investors want to recoup their investment in such a manner that they could give a damn about it's existing users.  So, what's to say that Quicken Inc ropes you in with an initial subscription price of $70?  You're now locked in.  And next year, it's $75, then $80, then $85.  And before you look around you're now stuck paying $150 a year.

I had that already with Intuit owned QuickPay and QuickPayroll.  What was once a $35 a year product escalated to a "pay per employee per month" that eventually cost me $155 a month (with only three employees).

It's that general attitude with Quicken Inc to its customers that I find abhorrent.  Quicken really doesn't care about it's customers.  

3 And I have a general feeling that the vast majority of long time Quicken "power users" like you and me really won't put up with the subscription model AND locking down our data if we don't subscribe.  Smart people don't like to be held hostage.  Nor do they like to feel as if they are taken advantage of.  

Ask any LogMeIn user how they felt stabbed in the back when their remote software that was always free became a charged yearly subscription...basically with no more than 30 days warning.  And what was the subscription?  $250 a year.  Yes, $250.  What did users do?  They found a different remote software that again was free.  

Quicken is hardly the only game in town anymore.  As a matter of fact, I've been using a Mac since 2009 and have Quicken running with Parallels in a virtual machine of Windows 7 and Windows 10 partitions (yes, I can run both).  And the ONLY software I run in Windows IS Quicken.  So, I could drop Quicken in a heartbeat and use any of the Mac personal financial softwares such as Banktivity, MoneyDance, etc.  
Heck, I'm even using Mint and it does a really good job of doing about 95% of what I need...give me accurate downloading of transactions with categorization and tags, somewhat of a budget and reporting my investment accounts total.  Not so great at investment analysis, but I can get those on my investment accounts web sites.

Even my own personal bank has an aggregate module that will connect to my credit cards and investment accounts.  I can categorize them there and generate the reports I need for comparison and tax purposes...all from my bank website, all for free.

I wish I could tell you how the beta testing process works (or doesn't) with Quicken, but the disclosure agreement does not allow that.  Suffice it to say it's puzzling, at best.

And I also agree that the "layered" approach of Quicken where more and more and more is added to the software must just seem like a pile of spaghetti now.  

If Quicken ropes you in with a subscription, locks your data down to read only and makes "improvements" that are an abomination, all subscribers will be screwed.  

Just suffice it to say that you heard it hear first.  Quicken Inc will be out of business within five years.  
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Snowman

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Amen.  I was a Quicken beta tester.  I saw why Quicken has ended up the way it is and I know what you mean.  I gave Quicken 7 years when I first heard that they had been sold by Intuit.  Now with the threat of this subscription disaster I agree with you 5 years max but I would predict it will be sooner if they ignore what the users have told them and that is NO SUBSCRIPTIONS!
(Edited)
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QPW

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I want respond here about the subscription, but after that I have a question about this idea.

Personally I see the subscription differently.  Yes the non subscribe going read-only is a "shoot themselves in the foot move", and totally unnecessarily.  People have been buying the new version to maintain their downloading for 15 to 20 years.

But past I don't see "evil" in a subscription, and I even see good.
Let's face it Quicken has been a 3 year subscription for probably about 20 years.
But ever year people come in here and complain that they didn't see that on the box or whatever.  This new subscription will put it right in their face and they won't be able to come here a year later wasting the SuperUsers time with "class action suit" garbage.

Now on the price.  Let's face they could change the price at any time.  And as for discounts on Amazon, they could have cut that off at any time too.  What's more it is actually possible to have a subscription model and still have the retailers sell it.  That hasn't been announced for the US version.  You have to realize that the Canadian version has been only sold on their website for a few years now.  That isn't really connected to the subscription.

Also the people that originally suggested the subscription model were in fact those people that came to the site every year saying why should I have to pay for a new version just to get downloading of transactions?  I'm willing to pay a small fee for that (a subscription).  And of course they wanted to keep their old version of Quicken.

Well that isn't practical.  First off the amounts they were quoting were so low they wouldn't even give Quicken Inc back what they were getting by having them pay every 3 years.

But on top of that they have no clue about maintenance of software.  People think, the work is done, so the cost should go down.  That is wrong.  The old the version of Quicken the more it will cost Quicken Inc.  The reasons for this is first off Quicken doesn't stand alone it needs to talk to various services like downloading transactions.

Over time Quicken Inc would like to change things on the back end.  That might result in a change to the communication with Quicken and change the services it provides, and yes that might mean removing some.  To maintain compatibility with an old version they would either have to have the servers support both protocols, or they would have to program/send out changes to the old versions of Quicken.  And in a way that is actually what you have with the three year model.  But these people wanted their X year version to work.  So how far do you support?
If 3 years isn't good enough for them, are you going to allow 5 years (some will still complain), 10?  What's more the truth is that a good percentage of people will upgrade every few years.  That means that your customer base gets spread more and more out over different versions you have to take into account.  Not only in the development, but also in testing, training, and customer support.  Not to mention the financial institutions have a say in this too, they don't want to support this endless versions either.

One of the things I think Quicken Inc has pointed to about the subscription model is that if they can get down to supporting just one version, they will have more time to work on bugs and features.  Lets just take recent history.  They needed to switch from the old Online Bill presentment provider to the new one.  They first did that in Quicken 2017.  That involve a release that was basically centered only it.  That took more than a month in the beta alone.  Then they had to do it all again for Quicken 2016.  So there is problem at least a month "lost" that could have been used for something else.

LogMeIn was mentioned above.  I was using it when it went from free to a subscription.  But in no way do I feel "stabbed in the back".  They are a business, not a charity.  The fact that you can get the service somewhere else for free isn't the point.  Just as if a store was giving away samples or such and they felt that would further their business, great.  But if they find that giving away the samples aren't making them money, they SHOULD stop the practice.

Now mind you I didn't sign up for their subscription, in fact at the time I had basically stopped using it anyways.  But the point is that yes these are businesses, and they are going to try to find the "sweet spot" that makes them the most amount of money.
And yes that can very well be less customers that are willing to pay more.
If they guess wrong, then maybe they will adjust the terms, or maybe they will go out of business.  Time will tell.
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QPW

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BTW I'm going to interject something for Snowman.  When I stated that I only project out 30 days, I wasn't suggesting in the least that other people should follow that model.  It was in context to "I have no stake in this feature, one way or another".

Not only do I not need either kind of prediction, I don't need Quicken.
First off by my nature (someone where saving money is the default mode), that lives way under what I make, who is now basically in semi retirement, and has simplified my accounts and such.  And by the fact that the services provided by my financial institutions has greatly improved.

My cash flow is simplicity in action.  All my bills are paid automatically.  Just a couple of them come directly out of the checking account.  The rest on a credit card, which is paid off from the checking account in full every month.

My "cash flow" for the most part is "make sure the checking account has enough money in it for those three or four bills when they come in".  The "big one" is the credit card, but it is about the same every month, and I have about 20 days notice on it.  The rest are either fixed amounts or about the same each month, and I keep about $1000 "buffer" in that account just in case.
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mshiggins, SuperUser

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Regarding your comments on the subscription model not being so bad:

Hogwash!

You've seen how prior major changes were implemented. I don't see any reason this change will be any different.
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QPW

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That is entirely possible.  They put out a major change and it breaks lots of things you use and they force people to it.  I think for minor changes you might be able to "hold off" some changes, but yeah eventually you will be forced to it.

But like you said here "I don't see any reason this change will be any different."

Well I don't see how that is now any different than what already is happening, without the subscription.  With the exception of the "time delay".

If you were using Quicken 2011 and its budget system, and you hated the Quicken 2012 budget system you basically had to either "put up with it" or drop all online services "eventually".
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mshiggins, SuperUser

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With the continuing problems with the Intuit ID, I don't foresee phoning home for the subscription check being a bullet proof process. One blip and your fike is read only.
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QPW

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Ms. Higgins please note, that all my statements were based on if the drop the "read-only" mode.  If they don't, then it is disaster.
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We can all agree that the subscription model has already been in effect for years now...ever since Quicken went to ending transaction downloads and security prices for versions over three years old.

That is not really the problem.  As mentioned a thousand times, it's the termination of manually entering transactions if the subscription lapses...or if your Quicken/Intuit ID gets hosed.

Second to that HAS to be pricing.  I hate the idea of Quicken Inc pricing a product that will creep up yearly to some annual price that just doesn't have the value it used to have.

I'm for getting everyone on the same Quicken version.  No more Q2015, Q2016 and Q2017 to support.  Just plain ol' Quicken, which the subscription will do within in a three year period.  But they could have done that just the same with the current business model by just making a Quicken retail version, without the year designation.

The vast majority of users would be very happy to continue using THEIR one version of Quicken and pay to continue downloading after the three year "subscription" period is over.  

If Quicken wants to throw in some "upgrades" for that fee, that's fine too.  But personally, I can live without ANY of the newest features like Online Bills, Zillow, Credit Score and Mobile Sync...especially since they don't work most of the time anyways.  

Like I said before, I'd be happy using a product as "dinosaur" as Quicken 2010 as long as I could continue downloading transactions and security prices.  
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gmalis1, SuperUser

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We can all agree that the subscription model has already been in effect for years now...ever since Quicken went to ending transaction downloads and security prices for versions over three years old.

That is not really the problem.  As mentioned a thousand times, it's the termination of manually entering transactions if the subscription lapses...or if your Quicken/Intuit ID gets hosed.

Second to that HAS to be pricing.  I hate the idea of Quicken Inc pricing a product that will creep up yearly to some annual price that just doesn't have the value it used to have.

I'm for getting everyone on the same Quicken version.  No more Q2015, Q2016 and Q2017 to support.  Just plain ol' Quicken, which the subscription will do within in a three year period.  But they could have done that just the same with the current business model by just making a Quicken retail version, without the year designation.

The vast majority of users would be very happy to continue using THEIR one version of Quicken and pay to continue downloading after the three year "subscription" period is over.  

If Quicken wants to throw in some "upgrades" for that fee, that's fine too.  But personally, I can live without ANY of the newest features like Online Bills, Zillow, Credit Score and Mobile Sync...especially since they don't work most of the time anyways.  

Like I said before, I'd be happy using a product as "dinosaur" as Quicken 2010 as long as I could continue downloading transactions and security prices.  
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QPW

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Snowman, you mentioned that using reminders are not possible because at lot of the "MS Money budget items" you are talking about are "one off" transactions.  And that splits were not possible because of the different accounts involved.

Well unless Microsoft found a way to look into the future and see what you are going to do, that kind of information had to be entered some how by the user.

When I talked about using the Quicken reminder system, I didn't mean that the GUIs can't be changed.  For instance Quicken reminders system already has one time events.  And my example of a split transaction for estimating is just one form for one use case.  There isn't any reason why there could different GUI for entering and displaying this new kinds of reminders.

So my question for you is how do you enter these one off "MS budget items" in MS Money?
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QPW

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"Like I said before, I'd be happy using a product as "dinosaur" as Quicken 2010 as long as I could continue downloading transactions and security prices.  "

And like I said, the users might love that, but for Quicken Inc it wouldn't be worth it.
It would cost them a lot more, and they aren't going to do it.

Having "one Quicken" implies "no more dinosaur" support".
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QPW

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P.S. I shouldn't have said "more".  I should have just said they aren't going to do it, and in fact they want to get rid of any multiple version support.
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gmalis1, SuperUser

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That's what I meant by my analogy.  Get everyone on the same year version of Quicken and just charge a minimal annual fee for downloads.  I'm not looking for new features...because let's face it most users aren't demanding the new features, they rarely work and they are available elsewhere.  

Just get my damn Quicken to work already, as it is.

I'm tired of workarounds.  I'm tired of seeing my category list pop up in a register, but I can't view the top of that category list.

I'm tired of running a memorized report that I have to continue to pull on the bottom of the report to see the entire report, even when I have memorized it to the correct size and Quicken doesn't ever remember that size.  

Those are just two of the lingering problems from previous year versions that specifically irritates me, have never been fixed and I've had to learn to live with.

That, to me, is crap...because I know for a fact that Quicken Inc is aware of those problems, yet continually refuses to fix them.

I agree that supporting what can amount to 15 different Windows versions plus a couple in Canada is ridiculous and very difficult to maintain.  I'm all for the one "year version" policy.

But I need to have the option to NOT subscribe and still have my Quicken function and I need the subscription to be reasonably priced for existing users and continuing subscribers.
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QPW

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OK I just misunderstood the "dinosaur" reference. :-)

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Snowman

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QPW, I think you may have misunderstood or I misstated something.  First I only used Money for a year concurrently with Quicken.  Never tried reminders in Money.  I don't use them in Quicken either because I use PayTrust to do this.

The only reason to "schedule" transactions is so that they get paid on timePERIOD.  The problem is that Intuit/Quicken saw that feature as a quick and dirty way to do other things and we are now stuck with that mess.

Your goal is to have enough money to pay all of your bills each month.  That is precisely what many others want as well even though their financial situations are more complex in nature as mine is.  I am only trying to get everyone to see what they think Quicken is telling them may not be the reality they think it is.  Many items in Quicken are given misleading labels.  One such example of this is on the budget widget on the home screen.  At the end of the current month is says that I will have "Savings" of $x at the end of the month.  That should be changed to "Ending Cash on Hand" not savings.  Savings implies that is money that is not needed when in fact it is needed in the future to pay other expenses which is why the budget needs to be involved. 

My income has never been a singular amount nor every two weeks or a month BUT I have endeavored to make sure that I have more money than expenditures.  You situation is much simpler and that is great and no I did not mean to imply that you where trying to say that is how everyone else should do it.  It is so simple that you can keep it in your head that is great too.

However I currently have 12 cash accounts, 10 credit card accounts, inflows and outflows to businesses, 4 investment accounts and 6 Property and Debt accounts.  One thing I do not have are any mortgages.  As you can see it would be insanity to try and keep all of THIS in my head, that is why I need a good financial program with the tools to do what you do, have more cash/savings than expenditures.  I really only want to make the program better, with 40 years of financial experience I think I know what I am talking about.

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Snowman

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QPW, I think you may have misunderstood or I misstated something.  First I only used Money for a year concurrently with Quicken.  Never tried reminders in Money.  I don't use them in Quicken either because I use PayTrust to do this.

The only reason to "schedule" transactions is so that they get paid on timePERIOD.  The problem is that Intuit/Quicken saw that feature as a quick and dirty way to do other things and we are now stuck with that mess.

Your goal is to have enough money to pay all of your bills each month.  That is precisely what many others want as well even though their financial situations are more complex in nature as mine is.  I am only trying to get everyone to see what they think Quicken is telling them may not be the reality they think it is.  Many items in Quicken are given misleading labels.  One such example of this is on the budget widget on the home screen.  At the end of the current month is says that I will have "Savings" of $x at the end of the month.  That should be changed to "Ending Cash on Hand" not savings.  Savings implies that is money that is not needed when in fact it is needed in the future to pay other expenses which is why the budget needs to be involved. 

My income has never been a singular amount nor every two weeks or a month BUT I have endeavored to make sure that I have more money than expenditures.  You situation is much simpler and that is great and no I did not mean to imply that you where trying to say that is how everyone else should do it.  It is so simple that you can keep it in your head that is great too.

However I currently have 12 cash accounts, 10 credit card accounts, inflows and outflows to businesses, 4 investment accounts and 6 Property and Debt accounts.  One thing I do not have are any mortgages.  As you can see it would be insanity to try and keep all of THIS in my head, that is why I need a good financial program with the tools to do what you do, have more cash/savings than expenditures.  I really only want to make the program better, with 40 years of financial experience I think I know what I am talking about.

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Snowman

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It did it again.  Anyone know why my comments are getting entered twice??
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mshiggins, SuperUser

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I get double posts twice when the page is slow and I click submit more than once or if I use the Back button to go back.
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Snowman

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Hmmm, maybe the mouse click setting?  I did not use the Back button and I have not changed the mouse setting, maybe slow page??  How do I go back to delete the duplicate as it will not let me do anything with it, not even edit.

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@QPW: Just a couple of technical clarifications, in case it changes your opinion of how difficult it might be for Quicken to include the functions I mentioned.

First thing is that the Money cash flow forecaster can draw its numbers from your advanced budget, but it doesn't have to. You can also set it to draw a categorical average from your historical income and expenses -- pretty much like the auto budgeting functions in both Quicken and Money can do. In the Money cash flow forecaster, you can change those numbers if you want.

Second thing is that within Money the assigning of accounts to categories is strictly a cash flow forecasting function, not a budgeting function. In fact, if you never used the cash flow tools you'd likely have little idea this account association was even happening.

In the Categories window, you can change the account associated with a certain category from the default (which is "last used" or "most used", I forget) to a specific account. But the tooltip makes it clear that the purpose of account association is for cash flow forecasting. 
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QPW

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"auto budgeting functions"

Are you referring to the fact that a reminder can be set to an estimate?  (If not what exact in Quicken are your referring to?)

Is it the fact that categories are associated with an account, and as such you can say use XXX category in the advance budget for this month, and it will use that account for the predictions?

On the categories and connecting them to accounts.
@Snowman is this how you are doing the "one offs"?
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mistertheplague

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Sorry, I may not be using the correct terminology. In Quicken, when you set up a new budget it will auto-populate each category with a number based on a historical average in that category. In Money, this is called the auto-budgeting function (I thought it was called the same in Q).
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mistertheplague

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Is it the fact that categories are associated with an account, and as such you can say use XXX category in the advance budget for this month, and it will use that account for the predictions?
Again, account-category association in Money is done in the Category List, independent of your budget.

This is the subcategory settings window for the budget item Entertainment : TV shown in my example upthread. The account association happens to be set to the default, Last Account Used, which is my checking account since that's where the bills get paid out of:



Other budget items -- Groceries for example -- will never have my checking account as Last Used because I always pay for groceries with a credit card. Since I only want to track two accounts in my Cash Flow Forecaster -- checking and savings -- I would change the account associated with Groceries to checking in that category's settings window. 

In the Cash Flow Forecaster settings window you choose how you want the forecaster to select an account for your budget item -- Last Used, Most Used, or User Selected:



"One-offs" -- income or expense -- can be displayed in the forecaster either by making them a scheduled transaction or by entering them directly in the forecaster itself.

The latter method has the disadvantage of immediately skewing your account register balance, since Money doesn't wait for the transaction date to affect a change in balance. 
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QPW

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"Is it the fact that categories are associated with an account, and as such you can say use XXX category in the advance budget for this month, and it will use that account for the predictions?

Again, account-category association in Money is done in the Category List, independent of your budget. "

I got that before, what I was confirming is when you select "Amounts from my current Advanced Budget", the way it knew what accounts were involved is be cause it gets a category/budget number from budget, and from that category it gets the account.

So the answer to my question seems to be yes.

Well here is what I think now.

Putting in the association with the category would be one or maybe just a few extra fields per category in the database.  That shouldn't affect anything.

The actual budget system isn't affected at all, assuming they currently have a way to pull categories/numbers out of it.  And if they don't (they should) and it would affect much.

So yes this could be implemented without mucking up anything currently in Quicken.

But I would also say this is a feature with a lot of moving parts.

It probably isn't quite as big of a project as says the whole budget system, but is clearly a much larger project than the Online Bill presentment system (I'm talking about Quicken the program part of that system).

So it is certainly not a project I would take lightly if I was Quicken Inc.
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mistertheplague

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what I was confirming is when you select "Amounts from my current Advanced Budget", the way it knew what accounts were involved is be cause it gets a category/budget number from budget, and from that category it gets the account.
Yes, that's correct. Thanks for your perspective ...
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Snowman

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@QPW,

No all of my transactions including the "one off" transactions are in my budget.  In November of each year I sit down go through my current budget and work on the next years budget.  I might note that the house may need painting, or one of cars will need a major service and so on.  Someone may have bought the rights to one of my images (I am a photographer) and that would be a large one time income item which is rare and would not be in my budget but would be a welcome surprise :-). 

Of course there are items that happen unexpectedly or I missed.  Over the 40 years that I have been doing this I have a cash figure that is a minimum that I try to always have available.  When I have to dip into that figure, my first goal after that is done is to build the "reserve" back up.

(Edited)
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Snowman

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Ok, I just noticed that parts of my discussion on this thread have been removed.  I would like to know who removed them and why.  QPW, gmalis1 and I were having a thoughtful, reasoned discussion on some items and I thought that it would benefit everyone to hear them.  There was nothing offensive in the discussion it was a healthy debate on some very important issues about Quicken.  Issues that Quicken should be listening to.

I see this as censorship of the highest order.  There were some good honest questions and answers exchanged but if you delete those opinions you have now made users afraid to speak their minds because there comments many be removed and that stifles the debate.  Now maybe if I had been contacted about this before it was done we could talk about it but I guess not.  I guess Quicken is truly afraid of a good healthy debate on the merit or demerits of Quicken.  I guess we can have any opinion that we want as LONG AS IT IS QUICKEN's.  How sad is that.  :=(
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Quicken Edgardo, Official Rep

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Hi Snowman,

I've looked at the history logs of this thread this morning and I'm not seeing any replies or comments that have been removed. One of the requirements of removing a thread is providing an explanation as to why the removal is taking place, this explanation is then sent as an email notification to the user who posted said reply, the reply cannot be removed without a reason typed and given.

Is it possible you are thinking about a different thread? If so, if you provide a link, I would be happy to take a look at the logs.
(Edited)
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Snowman

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Edgardo, thanks for the reply.  No it was not a different thread it was this one because I started it.  If the discussion between QPW and gmali1 are missing I suggest you talk to them and they can confirm they are in fact missing.
(Edited)
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markus1957, SuperUser

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Snowman- So for the second time in this thread I will suggest you take a breath. While "censorship of the highest order" has an infinitely small probability of being proved correct in this case, there is a more rational explanation that probably applies here. When a series of Comments under a Reply gets too long, the list is truncated and a "Previous" link is shown under the Reply. I'm pretty sure your "missing" comments can be "found" by clicking the link to expose them.
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Snowman

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I had clicked the "Previous" link before I made my comment and they were not there earlier.  Now when I click the Previous link they are there.  The first time I was using Microsoft Edge and the second time Internet Explorer.

I did not realize that Edge was running and I have removed it from my system.  If I offended anyone about my earlier comments I am truly sorry. 

Breath taken :-)
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thecreator, SuperUser

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Hi @ Snowman ,

I am using Firefox 52.0.1 version right now and nothing has been removed, but maybe hidden from View. You need to click View Previous to see the older parts of the thread.


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Snowman

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Thank, got it sorted.  Microsoft Edge has many strange features and it is very hard to get rid of it because it is such a part of Windows 10.  On the surface it looks like you are stuck with it but there is an easy way to get rid of it.  I went back in again with Edge and tried to click the "View Previous"  and it looked like it  worked but it did not.  I then opened Internet Explorer clicked on "View Previous" and there they were.  So it was another Gotcha in Edge.  I got rid of it by going to Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.  I just renamed Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe to AAAMicrosoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe, rebooted and it was history. 

Thanks for the info though.

(Edited)
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Snowman

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Well here is my best stab at getting a decent cash balance report within what Quicken provides.  Let’s assume the date is March 15, 2017.  Current Cash is the cash amount as of the origin of the report in the Banking Accounts that you want to be considered as a part of the Current Cash balance.  Let’s say that figure is $25,000.

Now we subtract the balance due on all credit cards as of March 15, 2017.  The balance due on all credit cards is $5,000.  That gives us a Current Cash Balance figure of $20,000.  This assumes that all credit cards are paid off every month in full.  What about those who do not pay off their cards every month?  They need to then look at those overdue balances as a loan and figure in payments and interest in their budget.  Yes, I know that is a bit of work but to get a true idea of where you really are financially you need to do this.

Now to get a projected Ending Cash Balance you need to consider 4 things for both income and expenses.  First, the current month’s budget.  Second, actual transactions to date.  Third, the amount over or under budget you are.  Finally, amounts in the budget not yet received or spent.

For income items the current budget for March is $40,000.  Actual income transactions to date are $10,000 which leaves you -$30,000 under budget.  You then have $30,000 yet to be received. 

For expense items the current budget is $25,000.  Actual expenses to date are $30,000 putting you $10,000 over budget.  However, you have $10,000 in expenses not yet spent.

For an Ending Cash Balance for March you take $20,000 + $30,000-$10,000=$40,000 as you ending cash balance.  That $40,000 becomes the starting cash balance for April.  Budgeted income for April is $20,000 and budgeted expenses are $35,000 the estimated cash balance at the end of April would be $25,000. ($40,000+20,000-$35,000).  You can repeat this for all months remaining in the year and go forward as many years as you have put into the budget module of Quicken.

This is how you get a true cash balance forecast.  In Reports, you currently can get a report that will give the current balance of all the accounts (that you select to be a part of this) and a total owed on all of your credit cards (again that you select to be included.  Quicken can already provide the answer for what is your current cash balance. 

The budget can be extended years into the future so that is already in Quicken also.  The only part missing is figuring out the current month.  You can already create a report that shows income, expenses and how much over under budget you are and it should not be two hard to put it all together to get the Ending Cash Balance for the month. 

The data for this can be presented numerically in a table and in graph format.  You can add color so that deficit figures are in red and the rest in black. 

None of this requires taking into account "scheduled transactions" or billings or any of that.  Financial considerations for future events should come from the budget, that is what it is there for and nobody really needs to know or understand how all of this works.  They just create a budget and this report can be done for them.  The information will be far better than that from In/Out/What's left or Projected balances because they do not work with all of the information. 

No I know many do not bother with the budget.  Fine for you but there are many of us who take the time to plan out a well thought out budget and if it is not used to its fullest it is really just a waste of space.  What is the first thing any financial planner, or loan officer will ask you when you come to them.  They will ask you "What is your anticipated budget for....", not what are your scheduled transactions or billings.

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gmalis1, SuperUser

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I'm confused.

Just use an Excel spreadsheet for your way and call it a day. Your situation is way more complicated than most of us have in real life.  

Plus, most of us aren't looking at $30,000-$40,000 a MONTH in income.

My plan is much simpler.  I'm retired.  I draw "X" amount every month from one of my retirement accounts...the same amount each and every month. 

I spend less than that amount.  Whatever less I spend, get's rolled over to the next month.  If I'm good (and lucky) 12 times my "X" amount equals or is less than my annual cash flow out. 

Not nearly as complicated as yours.  But I'm done...and it only takes me a minute or two to find that info.

An In/Out/What's Left works perfectly for me.
(Edited)
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NotACPA, SuperUser

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The "Out" was the charge on the credit card ... not the payment to the card.
Any amount remaining on the card is irrelevant to In/Out/What's Left.
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Snowman

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The "Out" is not the charge on the credit card.  Yes that is when you expensed it BUT you do not pay it until the bill comes out NEXT month therefore your Current Cash Balance would be off and that is why you subtract the total credit card debt to date to get a REAL cash balance.  It is called float and the bigger the numbers the more impact it has and the more important it is to keep your current cash balance anchored in reality.

I am sorry I used large numbers to make a point.  Let's say (sorry large number again) you have a $2,500 charge.  Your in and out will ONLY look at what has happened in the past and doesn't look properly into the future unless you have scheduled each and every income and expense in the future.  This method that I learned in personal finance class 40 years ago might show that in November you are not going to have enough cash to pay your bills because of that one time $2,500 charge back in March.  Thus they start paying the minimum balance every month and many cases that snowballs because now they have know idea what is going on and the credit card debt gets bigger and bigger until it eats them alive. 

You all seem to miss the point and gmalis1 it may work for you and as I have said before that is great BUT it does not work for me and many with more complex financial situations.  There are many who think like you and before they know it they are bankrupt because they did not plan for a rainy day.  I have seem many people fall into that trap as explained in the previous paragraph.

None of  you  seem to address the point that credit counselors, financial planners, loan officers are NEVER going to ask you what your scheduled transactions are in the future they are going to ask do you have a budget? 

Quicken should be for all potential users and their financial situations. 

"Just use an Excel spreadsheet for your way and call it a day. Your situation is way more complicated than most of us have in real life."  So are you against trying to make Quicken a better program or are you mad at me for suggesting it?   I am interested in helping to make Quicken a better program for all.  Many of you do not want to see change.  I get that but cash forecasting with the current Quicken method is like trying to drive a railroad spike with a finishing hammer.  It is not the right tool for the job.  I get it that the programmers may make a mess of things and that is scary and I get that too.

I can continue to use Excel but it takes a week out of every year to transfer all of the numbers by hand from the Quicken budget to Excel.  That introduces many opportunities for error that I would like to avoid by having the right tool in Quicken to do the job.

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QPW

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Let me first state that given your explanation, I do think this is "doable" and without messing up things (if we are that lucky), and it isn't quite as much work as I originally thought.

BUT. I disagree with this statement "Quicken should be for all potential users and their financial situations. "

The developers don't have infinite time.  There is always a decision to be made on how many people will benefit from a given feature.  For instance many, many more times than your request there have been requests for the investment accounts to allow of "active traders".  Quicken was never designed for this, and performs badly when any given investment account has a lot of transactions/securities/lots.  With a lot of work/rewriting they might have made Quicken work better for these people, but they have never done that.  And that is because most of their customers don't fall into that category, and as such the effort wouldn't be worth the reward as far as the company is concerned.  They much rather work on features/problems that say over 95% of the people have than on ones that are for 5% of less.

One thing I think got this thread off on the wrong path was to state that In/Out/What's Left is worthless, and that you want it changed.  You probably would have got a better response if you have just stated what you wanted in a feature, instead saying that you want to change something that Quicken users have used for years.

Also I personally think that your system falls into a category of a great tool for "credit counselors, financial planners, loan officers".  As in it seems too complicated for the after person that would be using Quicken.  I can only imagine just how hard it would be to explain to someone how to set this all up.

But in fact my personal opinion matters for only "one vote", it will be up to Quicken Inc to judge the merit of the feature and go from there.
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gmalis1, SuperUser

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Let's see.  As alluded to before, since NOT ONE other user who accesses this forum has the same thoughts that you do regarding this post...there is no agreement with you, no outrage that Quicken isn't calculating FUTURE Cash Balance as YOU want it to...I'm guessing no one cares about how YOU calculate it or NEED to predict it.

Sure, it might be great for you to have Quicken predict future cash flow.  It doesn't.  Quicken is personal financial software for the masses.  It is NOT for everyone, as you alluded to.  It can't be.  Everyone's financial situation is different. Not everyone will be pleased the way it works for them.  Quicken CAN'T be that.  It's pretty customizable, but it's not THAT customizable.  It's a $60-75 piece of software.  Not sophisticated financial PLANNING...it's personal finance software.  You even said that most financial planners look at your budget...they don't take into consideration future expenses and payments.  And you expect Quicken to have that crystal ball and predict the future FOR you?

As a dentist, I paid about $6,000 for dental practice management software.  Was it complete, with everything I wanted in the software, customized to the way I wanted it to work?  No.  It was semi-customizable.  Most of the features, I used.  Some, I did not.  Some things I wished I could add, but couldn't because it was what I wanted, not what the majority of users wanted...or not even what the software management team wanted to implement.  And believe me, I made suggestions to the software company.

I had my own business for 36 years.  I used Quicken since the late 1980's in conjunction with my business.  I knew exactly what predicted expenses were coming up at any time in the future.  Using memorized transactions, Quicken laid out, as best it could, my predicted cash flow for the future.  I made a lot of financial decisions, regarding major equipment purchases, remodeling, adding staffing...all thanks to Quicken.  But sometimes unpredictable expenses or a downturn in production throws a monkey wrench into those predictions.  Luckily for me, that wasn't something that was catastrophic, but it did matter to my bottom line.

Most people, in general, have no idea what their expenses and cash flow will be in the future...six months, a year, five years, 30 years down the road.  Some don't even know what their cash flow is NEXT WEEK.  Because life isn't like a business.  There are all sorts of variables in life that occur that can really change your entire financial picture.  Some people live paycheck to paycheck, either because they have to or they feel they can spend whatever they have.  Others max out their credit cards with no regard or thought to being able to pay them back.  Most people either don't plan or can't plan for anything out of the ordinary.  Catastrophic events, such as illness and medical expenses or replacing a dead car or unemployment, can occur.  Those can't be predicted...so predicting future cash flow is not reasonable for most of us.  

You're a very bright person.  You've obviously given this a LOT of thought and appear to know how to reliably predict cash flow associated with your budget in your instance and you're very centered on how YOU need Quicken to work for YOU to be the product YOU want it to be.  You can submit your suggestion to Quicken.  You can even vote up this post promoting your suggestion.  

But Quicken implementing your suggestion?  That's not going to happen.  Why, because there is NO demand for it...aside from you, apparently.  Quicken has done it's best to lay out the foundation of tracking your expenses, allowing to enter your future "predictable" bills and showing your cash flow using that information.  It can't go any further than that...it just can't.  

I'm guessing you have choices, since I don't see this to be anything Quicken will want to tackle in the immediate or intermediate future (they have enough problems as it is).

1 You can continue using your Excel spreadsheet.

2 You can contact Quicken and make your suggestion heard.

3 You can, personally or contract someone to, write better software, market it and watch all the profits roll in.  

4 You can write software and market it to Quicken to "add on" to their product, such as the Zillow integration, Credit Score and Morningstar stock analysis is in Quicken. 

5 You can move on to another product that meet's your needs better.

I have nothing else to add to this conversation.  It's beating a dead horse.  Your comments and suggestions and insight really are appreciated.

Just don't expect Quicken to implement them. 
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NotACPA, SuperUser

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Snowman,
the EXPENSE (i.e., the "out")  is when the charge is made on your credit card.  That's simple accounting.  If you have a tax-related charge on 12/31/16, it's included on your 2016 taxes ... NOT your 2017 taxes (when you paid the card bill).

What you're claiming as "out" is actually a Cash Flow item ... NOT an Income/Expense item. 
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Snowman

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QPW,  Agreed about I think it is doable, do we want the present team working to fix it maybe and maybe not.  :-). 

I should have said Quicken should be for all potential personal financial situations and their users. 

NotACPA, I think we are in agreement about the out, it is a cash flow item and as I tried to point out the In/Out/What's left tool pretends to be that when it is not because it does not take into account future income and expense items that are in the budget which is a part of cash flow.    If you look where it is located in the Customize view it is under Planning; Budget, In/Out/What's left and so on.   It is not in the Banking Section.  For what it does it should be under the Banking section.  By being in the Planning section it is pretending to be a cash flow item taking into account future income and expenses from the budget which of course it does not.

gmalis1, no I do not expect Quicken to predict the future for me.  I would like a tool so that I can put in my relevant information and then let Quicken do the math for me.  Yes there are unexpected things and I have "funds" set aside for most of those unexpected things.  I learned most of this in college 40+  years ago.  With this tool you can see a bad trend coming and deal with it sooner rather than later.  My motto has always been under estimate income and over estimate expenses (Putting money away each month for those "unexpected" events). 

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and opinions.  I do not see Quicken acting on this any time soon.  :-(  They have their hands full with the R5 release.  I only want to see Quicken improve and maybe be a personal financial package for those of us the have a more complex situation too   :-)

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markus1957, SuperUser

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I'd just point out that your $35K monthly expense estimate is based on X number of scheduled transactions projected during the period. Any good budget is derived by categorizing scheduled transactions over the budget period or reserving part of a cash surplus for something like a vacation.

I'm not against Quicken constructing a report like you describe. Just don't mess with the In/Out and Projected Balances modules as they now exist. I'm more interested in real dollars flowing from actual payees as opposed to what category they fit into.
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markus1957, SuperUser

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I'd just point out that your $35K monthly expense estimate is based on X number of scheduled transactions projected during the period. Any good budget is derived by categorizing scheduled transactions over the budget period or reserving part of a cash surplus for something like a vacation.

I'm not against Quicken constructing a report like you describe. Just don't mess with the In/Out and Projected Balances modules as they now exist. I'm more interested in real dollars flowing from actual payees as opposed to what category they fit into.
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Snowman

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No, the $35K is not based on any scheduled transactions.  It is a budget no scheduled transactions enter into it at all.  After all utility bills (electric, gas, etc.) are never the same so are impossible to "schedule".  The same for gas for your car, you do not have any scheduled transactions for them because they are different amounts on different days.  A well constructed budget is based in part on past experience and a seat of the pants feeling to produce the best number. 

That is where the In/Out/What's left starts to come apart.  Also you have no real control over what accounts that the tool is taking into account.  You can change what it includes or excludes but it does it globally when it should only do it for this tool. The selection of what accounts to use should be this the method used when customizing reports. 

I would prefer it not take into account my version of savings or cash surplus.  The In/Out/What's Left would use the savings/cash surplus cash and you could end up with nothing in the cash surplus account because the In/Out/What's left tool is telling you that you are OK cash wise BUT if the tool is tapped into that cash surplus account you may not be as well off as you think you are.

If it would show a beginning cash balance for each month add and subtract income/expenses to the current date than take into account the amounts budgeted for the month and if you are over or under that budget, coming up with an ending balance you would have what I am talking about.

I am confused by your closing statement "I'm more interested in real dollars flowing from actual payees as opposed to what category they fit into."  My method takes all of that into account in a more realistic manner.  Again if you have budgeted properly the budget should have accommodations for all the little things that can't be scheduled but it CAN be budgeted for.  That is where I think we are looking at this differently.  For example I have a category for our house "Miscellaneous".  That it to cover those Gotcha expenses.  Some months I am way below the budget amount, (the difference rolling over to the next month), but there are months where we are over the budgeted amount..  Over the year it "averages" out.   For the record the effects of the flaws in the In/Out/What's left can be cumulative and in May 2017 it shows that I will have a much larger cash balance than I will actually have at the end of May.

Oh well, thanks for listening.  :-)